tv [untitled] October 19, 2010 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
at gunpoint. he was carrying an ak-47 with 30 rounds in the clip. that makes you proud as being a member of the police commission and a member of this city. the officers are doing the job out there. those guns came off the street and those people are in custody. i want to thank the officers for their hard work, i want to thank the mayor. i want to thank chief gascon. he has done a great job. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner. we can reopen for any questions that you may have. yes. >> chief, my understanding -- a number of shootings more than that in previous years or car robberies in the tenderloin as well. >> unquestionably, crimes move around and sometimes you put resources in one place and you move it to another area. there are neighborhoods that we have seen some concerning trends and we put a great deal of attention. some of you may recall that
actually earlier in the year, we started to have a spike in robberies. year-to-date, robberies are now down again. as a matter of fact, as of the last week, we're down 7% which compared to the same time year-to-date. at the beginning of the year, we were having, in fact, those of you that really follow the statistics as closely as i do will remember that at the beginning of the year, robberies were inching up. again, there was a great deal of brainstorming that went on, a lot of people working together, working doing a lot of analytical work who the suspects were, who the victims were, where was it occurring and a lot of efforts put together and that was turned around. so while there is no question that there are places that we are having issues and there are certain neighborhoods that we need to continue to pay attention to, the overall trend is a good trend. the reality of the ideal society there will be no crime is very unlikely to occur, especially in an urban
environment. we know that there is always going to be areas where there are issues. the question is not whether we have the issues, but what do we do to avoid it or prevent it. one of the reasons why i wanted san francisco safe to come in and cindy to talk is the best way to reduce crime is by preventing crime in the first place. the best way to prevent crime is not even by arresting a suspect, but quite frankly, it's been taking the opportunity from the crime to occur in the first place. there are a lot of things and most of them are bad that occur when a crime occurs. if you leave an item unattended in a vehicle and a young person, 16, 17-year-old sees that computer there that is very attractive and he or she breaks the window in order to steal that computer, you are doing several things. number one, you're out your computer more than likely. that is going to increase your insurance and increase the level of fear in our community. the other thing that is occurring, too, is we have a
young person that eventually will be arrested, if not for that crime, but another crime, and you have a person that is in the system as a criminal and his or her likelihood of being able to succeed as they grow old, it diminishes significantly once they engage in crime. when we're preventing crimes, not only are we doing ourselves a favor and the community, but we're also helping a lot of young people that very often are tempted to commit a crime, that if we perhaps were more thoughtful of removing the opportunity, that would not occur. one of the things we talk about our communities san francisco safe, very assertively talking to people about how to avoid becoming a victim. there are a whole bunch of things that occur once that crime takes place that impacts even including the lives of those that are actually committing the crime. any other questions?
>> [inaudible] what specific areas of crime -- >> i mean, we're evaluating this on a daily basis. i think that most of you, again, those of you that follow the numbers very closely, you know that we have in the last 18 months or so we have had a tremendous reduction in overtime. this department has gone from general funded over time. i know that it's confusing, but there are different pockets of overtime. there is one where the officers get paid by merchants to work on their off-duty time. you often see that on the report of the controller. that is not tax base overtime. there is the general funded overtime which is what the taxpayers pay. that amount has gone from nearly $23 million just two
years ago to right around $5 million this year. when you compute the numbers, that is equivalent to about 115 police officers that are not here today that were here just two years ago. so if you take that number and you say, ok, we have reduced already about 115 officers by that reduction in overtime and then in addition to that, you put that on the backdrop that we, through the budgetary process, agreed to reduce the size of our force by another 78 officers, you can see the math very quickly gets to the point that we are approaching very rapidly to the point where we're going to have about 200 officers less available to deal with crime problems. 115 that come from the reduction in overtime and 78 that will simply be people that will be leaving that will not be replaced. that is nearly 10% of our workforce.
that is why it's so important for the community to understand that the deployment of police officers really needs to be left up to us because we're putting people where they need to be. you cannot, on a static fashion, deploy police officers on a foot beat just because it's nice to have them there. if there is crime in that area, it calls for it. we do not have the luxury of doing so today and it's less likely that we'll have the luxury to do so in the next years. any other questions? ok, thank you very much. really appreciate your time. thank you. >> will be introducingd
entertainment in downtown san francisco. people pay local musicians to perform for lunchtime crowds. the goal is not just entertainth. people in plazas are trying to create neighborhoods. what began as a forum for performers who were paid by passing the hat has become a program that provides wide exposure and more than 500 paid gigs annually for local musicians. from july through september, people in plazas produces almost 300 free performances in the lunchtime hour. the mission of people in plazas generates social congregation. and by having these events, we encourage people to make these
plazas everybody's neighborhood. >> recently, the san francisco arts commission was awarded a $ 250,000 grant for the national endowment for the arts. to establish an arts district in the central market corridor between fifth and 10th street. throughout the yearing the arts commission will partner with people in plazas to activate the sidewalks along this stretch with art installation, opening events, live music, and new arts and antique markets at u.n. plaza. >> this area has been sleighted for many years, at least the past 25 years. i think that this redevelopment project and the n.e.a. grant are very positive signs that we have political will and a lot of momentum to really make the mid market area what it could be, which is a vibrant area where everybody is welcome and it's a
place to be in san francisco. >> to get a feel for the future of the central market arts and culture district, be sure to catch out an upcoming concert. for locations and times, visit peopleinplazas.org. to learn more about the central market revitalization initiative, visit sfartcommission.org. thank you for watching "culture wire." >> thanks, everyone, for being here. i will be introducing todd, joanne, and randolph in a moment. i want to thank everyone for convening, particularly after fleet week, where we had another successful celebration, weekend of reflection on the remarkable
sacrifice, heroism, and leadership that is shown every day by men and women in uniform. it is something that i look forward to every year, not just as the mayor of the city, but someone who has grown up in the bay area. and of course, millions around the globe are able to experience what is arguably the most fantastic demonstration of american pride. we thought it would be appropriate to piggyback this celebration with those who have returned from service, a recognition of those veterans that have done so much, provided us so much, that we need to do much more to serve ourselves. that reciprocal relationship
needs to extend past at a time in uniform. one of the thing that i think we have fallen short on in this country is the filling our promise to be returning veterans. you see that manifested in the most acute ways in terms of those that come back that have suffered the consequences of war, literally and figuratively. those that have come back with physical challenges, mental health challenges, those that just come back to the challenge of coming back to an economy that is not as strong as when they left. as well, getting a job, education, competing -- completing the narrative of their life. one of the things we are trying to do in san francisco is connect the dots. one of the most important thing we can do, particularly in a
declining resource base, is make sure that we are leveraging existing resources, connecting doctor, and make sure that the program we are providing are working together, scaling their efforts, and building partnerships. we talk about public-private partnerships here, but we also talk about public-public partnerships. something that we are celebrating today is the creation of a new portal, our 311 call center. that will be available 24 hours a day in 24 languages to help our returning veterans connect the dots. we will be working collaboratively with the va. i am always amazed when i go to the conference of mayors, how difficult it is to work with the va, the va saying how it was
difficult to work with the city. i have never understood that conversation because we are so proud of them and we are not pointing a finger at them, but rather recognizing their important contribution. as well, programs like swords for passage. the va is a big part of our veterans connect network, a big part of our outreach and celebration, in terms of engaging the veterans community and recognizing the contributions of our veterans and celebrating and supporting those contributions. really this is a partnership between the va, the city and county of san francisco, and a remarkable organization that has
been getting a lot of attention. iraq veterans of america. todd is the deputy director and he will be talking about what they are doing across the country to conduct similar dots across the country. nancy and her team have created a new portal, 311.org. if you call 311, everyone there has been trained to connect veterans to grant services, jobs services, grants representing schools, a wide variety of things to serve our veterans, but all in one place. all you need to know is three simple numbers.
finally, we are also connecting to our community college. one thing we all need to think about is a lifelong learning, regardless of state of mind. a lot of our returning veterans want to complete their education. they have the opportunity to connect with funding and community colleges the backbone of our education system. you all know that. we are very proud of the san francisco community college and we will be talking about how they are a big purchase and in this effort as well. with that spirit, i am proud to ask todd hours to come up. he will talk about their great work. i hope he tells you where this idea came from, because it came from him, his partners. how long ago did you come in
here? about five months ago. they said we want to work with the city and create a model that we can export to other cities. they challenged us, and we hope that we have met their challenge. we thank you for your leadership and for the inspiration. >> i have a few notes. contrary to popular belief, marines can read. mayor newsom, sincerely, thank you. you are someone who put your money where your mouth was. you saw the issues at hand, and within a few months, you really stepped up and led the charge. iava is the first and largest organization built for the returning veterans of iraq and afghanistan. our mission is very simple, one that mayor newsom understand, to
improve the lives of iraq and afghanistan veterans and their families. when my unit return from war, i was overwhelmed. there were so many resources out there, different outlets, departments trying to do things for us, it became overwhelming. it was sort of like drinking from a fire hose. one of the things we realized was there has to be a way that cities on a local level can provide these resources from all different agencies into a single place. that is where this idea came from. we know in the city of san francisco, returning veterans will no longer be drowning from that fire hose. through this program, veterans of all walks of life, regardless of their deployment, will be able to call in and find these resources at a touch of a button. that is what we need, sparred, innovative thinking to combat
these issues that veterans are facing right now. one of the main things that iraq and of canada and veterans are dealing with when they come -- afghanistan veterans are dealing with when they come home our mental health issues, difficulties in integrating into society. things can be overwhelming, so where do they turn to first? other local community. this initiative will make a difference. one of the innovative ways the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america have engaged this new generation of membership is understanding that technology will be the key to outreach to a lot of these folks. we have developed something called community of veterans which is sort of like a social networking site for veterans of iraq and afghanistan. within their we are able to provide tons of resources, and we are ecstatic to be able to provide this resource in there. one thing that we also do is
reconnecting veterans. when we deploy, we find ourselves on these little fobs with people. that is the goal. reconnecting people once they come home. the reliance we have on the national guard and reserve can be overwhelming. these folks are not on military bases, not in a place where they can reach out to a neighbor. now we know there is a community here in san francisco that will support the veterans when they return. i would also like to propose another initiative. when i was in afghanistan, there was a tremendous amount of hills and mountains on a daily basis. as i was walking through the city, i was sweating and this little trolley came rolling up the street. we need those in afghanistan. it may save us in the long run. going up and down those hills is
pretty intense. i sincerely want to thank you on behalf of iava, other veterans' organizations, everyone else who has been involved, thank you for your leadership. it is an honor to be involved today. >> now i will ask joanne peters of our va to come up. it is weird to repeat this, but there is so much of this va vs. city friction across the country. i cannot express my confusion more because of our own experience. i will ask her to say a few words as well. >> it is true, we have a good working relationship with the city and mayor. there are a number of initiatives we are working on. mainly, working with homeless
veterans. we partner with hud, the public housing authority. we have 5000 doctors to help the homeless. we have the cover project, which is out of the san francisco jail. we are helping them with different life skills so they can get back and be functional in society. we did the project homeless connect. we worked with the city college. we also worked with the mental health station out there. they can see the veteran's right there. it is an issue. going out to the va is a roadblock. we continue to work well with the city. lots of different areas. we appreciate your support. thank you.
>> we estimate in san francisco -- again, this is an estimate -- and the reason we are building this collaborative. there are anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 living in san francisco. again, just estimates. we are trying to work through the technological challenges to connect people in a way where we can get a better sense of that community. one of the real leaders in helping us with that is leon winston, the coo of swords to plowshares. he deals with the challenges, acute and not so acute, every day. we talk about exporting models, swords to plowshares is certainly one of them. >> thank you.
it is true, the amount of city support that we get. the resources that the va brings to the table in concert with that, with community-based organizations. i became homeless in the early 1990's, came to san francisco, and through court -- resources given to me by the city, of swords to plowshares, i was able to get back on my feet. san francisco gets a bit of a bum rap because we are a liberal city, but as far as support for veterans, there is no city that does a better job. this goes back to the feinstein administration, every mayor since then. everyone has done a wonderful job supporting the veterans. san francisco is the only city we know of in the country that pays fen